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Computer Security Expert Available for Interviews on Hacker Attacks on The New York Times

Released: 2/1/2013 10:15 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Johns Hopkins University
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Available for logged-in reporters only

MEDIA ADVISORY: Computer Security Expert Available for Interviews on Hacker Attacks on The New York Times

The New York Times reported this week that Chinese hackers have repeatedly attacked the newspaper over the past four months, “infiltrating its computer system and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.” The newspaper stated that “the attacks appear to be part of a broader computer espionage campaign against American news media companies that have reported on Chinese leaders and corporations.”

Following the disclosure by the Times, the publishers of The Wall Street Journal reported that its computer systems also had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers, apparently to monitor its China coverage.

Available for interviews on this topic is Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science in The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering and technical director of the university’s Information Security Institute. He has written or contributed to books on computer voting and Web security. He is associate editor of ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, associate editor of IEEE Security & Privacy and an advisory board member of Springer's Information Security and Cryptography Book Series.

Rubin says the New York Times cyber-attacks “are interesting in that they highlight the differences between state-sponsored hacking activities and smaller efforts.”

“When a well-funded, resourceful adversary targets an organization, they succeed more often than not,” he says. “Had the New York Times not enlisted AT&T to monitor their network, this penetration could have continued indefinitely, with the Chinese government accessing emails and files of NYT employees and even monitoring the microphones and video cameras on their computers.”

He adds, “This underscores the importance of being vigilant and having multiple layers of security. I don't think there is a target out there that is immune to compromise by another nation-state. This cyberwarfare escalates the threat to levels not previously considered by most organizations.”

To interview Rubin, contact Phil Sneiderman.

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